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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent.
Towards the beginning of Ang Lee's adaptation of Yan Martell Life of Pi, Pi of the title, is talking to a Writer and interestingly says something like "I will tell you my story, how much you believe is true is up to you". This is your first clue as to the book and films intention. If you believe in something that doesn't mean it's true, and if something is true you may...
Published on 5 May 2013 by Mr. G. Robinson

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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pensive
Outstanding cinematography and genuinely ground-breaking CGI place this film in a category of its own. It's extraordinarily slow to start with, and the development of the plot is languid, to say the least. It starts by examining the early years of Pi, and it's here we learn how he acquires his name. This is narrated in flashback by his adult self and is carefully paced,...
Published on 1 May 2013 by DS9


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full HD 3D Work of Art and Spiritual Allegory., 9 May 2013
By 
Bruce "from Brighton" (UK - England) - See all my reviews
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What more can you say about a film that has won oscars for direction, as well as its ground-breaking effects and is based on an award-winning book that has sold millions?

Well now we can see this as many times as we like, at our leisure in the 3D version that Ang Lee intended and designed. This 2-disc 3D version of the Blu Ray, has several extras and in the impressive "making of" documentary, it is explained how they designed everything for 3D presentation and did all the editing in 3D - which is quite unusual - but it certainly deserves to be seen in this medium.

Ang Lee has created a true work of art - an incredible visual feast, which makes the most of all the resources used in its long 4-year production time. You can of course, watch this in 2D and still be impressed by the beauty of the images - but 3D adds to the immersive feel of truly being there and allows you to suspend your disbelief - which is what this is all about of course.

The "extras" detail the huge amount of work that went into the creation of the live action and then the digital post-production which went into CGI that possibly for the first time, seems genuinely to have us believing in it. We do believe that a bengal tiger is in the boat and we do feel the huge presence of the Pacific depths. The unusual thing about the extras is that some are actually presented in 3D as well - usually it is only the feature that gets this treatment. But here Ang Lee is keen to show us how the CGI was matched seamlessly to the live action, to create a world of magical realism.

All of the technical achievements detailed in the various extras wouldn't matter much though, if this was not a good film and it was just a shallow attention-grabber. But this is a truly wonderful and unusual story - looking at the philosophy of religion and the meaning of faith. Inspired by the beauty and spirituality of parts of India - where ancient temples are populated by spectacular wild life. Every moment and every phrase has a meaning - whether allegorical or literal.

We have Pi's life before and after, which is dedicated to religion - all religion - whether Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish or Islam. But at the centre of the book and film, is the experience which created "Faith" - Yann Martell has said in interviews that his book is about faith and the film with its super-realism, allows us to examine this experience and how it leads Pi to believe in God. The film is of course much shorter and less-detailed than the book - but it has all the essential elements distilled into a few hours of intense experience.

Having this on Blu Ray allows you to replay and re-examine the elements of allegory and how they are interwoven into the story - what does the Tiger represent - what of the Meerkat island and its impossible, perfectly circular lakes - what do they mean? What does the flower with a human tooth represent? This is a film that stands up to re-examination and can even just be viewed as something of a 3D painting - maybe a 3D Turner - in its images of the sea and sky. Coming to faith is a personal experience or journey for every person and this is just one perspective, one story and is nothing to do with organised religion - just one person's story.

Many critics have seen this as the film of the year and this is certainly worth owning in this spectacularly good Blu Ray transfer, with all the extras that add to your understanding of the film and what went into its creation. Possibly the best example of 3D film-making yet - highly recommended
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104 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visual Masterpiece, 14 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Life of Pi [DVD] (DVD)
Life of Pi begins with Pi, now a middle aged man meeting with a novelist in his home in Canada. The novelist had been writing in India when he scrapped his work, deciding to start over. By meeting Pi's `uncle', he hears about an amazing story which he instantly thinks could work as a novel. Pi begins to tell the novelist about his life in India and how he came to live in Canada. The beginning of the film sets the scene perfectly by showing how Pi grew up, where he got his name from and also how he and his family lived.

As the story continues, Pi grows up a bit, finds religion and love and his life is extremely interesting. He definitely doesn't have the normal life of any other boy in India. I really enjoyed the actors who play Pi throughout the film but especially Suraj Sharma who plays the role for the most part of the film. At age 16, Pi and his family want to move to Canada and this is where the film gets interesting. Their ship hits a massive storm and Pi finds himself all alone in the sea - apart from a zebra, orangutan and a Bengal tiger. The young man playing this role really throws himself into it and is able to really show emotion well. Being stuck in the middle of nowhere, not knowing how he is going to survive, fear was his first feeling. Along the way, sadness, hope, loss of hope and anticipation also kick in.

Pi encounters all kinds of problems while at sea, mostly with Richard Parker, the Bengal tiger who is determined to make the boat his own home. Obviously, he does eventually make it back to land otherwise he wouldn't be telling his story to someone else, so while a large amount of the film is set at sea, not all of it is. The changes in setting were great and really broke up the monotony of seeing the same thing for such a long length of time. The whole story is beautifully told and made me feel a whole range of things while watching it.

In 3D, this film is a visual masterpiece. I'm not normally the biggest fan of 3D but with this film, I think you would miss out on a whole lot if you didn't see it this way. With the bright and beautiful colours of India mixed with the exotic animals in the zoo and Pi's life when he is at sea, there is so much to look at, at all times during this film. You can experience tiny birds flying out into the cinema, feeling like they are flapping their wings right in front of your face. The 3D effects on this film were so fantastic that I even jumped a few times because things ended up looking as though they were straight in front of my face. I don't think I have ever, or will see again for a long time, a film as visually stunning as this one.

Although not a complex story, or a film with a massive cast, Life of Pi is one of the best films I have seen this year. It is a film that will make you feel things you won't expect, react at things you would never think of reacting to and it is also just a wonderful story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantabulous, 9 May 2013
By 
L. M. CARTER "Lover of the word" (Nottelling) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life of Pi [DVD] (DVD)
We loved it from beginning to end. I'm sure there are many in depth reviews so I'm not going to bother with that kind of critical essay.
If you like storytelling, if you like quirky, if your able to be absorbed by the visual then this is for you. Its MUCH MORE than a boy and a tiger.Superb dialogue, visually stunning, buy it watch it. One of the few movies I wanted to watch again when it finished!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising, 19 April 2014
This review is from: Life of Pi [DVD] (DVD)
I do tend to review films after more than one viewing, having seen this 3 times now thought it about time i did.
When i first saw the trailer i wanted to see it so bad and when i got around to it lived up to all my expectations for great storytelling and visuals.
You all know the idea of it by now and yet with every scene it entrances and stirs the emotions, even if the whole religious thing is not to your liking you can enjoy the relationship between Pi and the impressively detailed cgi tiger Richard Parker.
Like Jurassic Park having the best looking dinosaurs that will probably never be bettered this has the best looking cgi animals which i feel will be hard to better.
As for THAT ending, many seem let down or feel cheated but then that is because of the choice they have made in deciding how it all panned out.
A true modern classic and still wish iot had won the Best Picture Oscar.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absorbing and Visually Stunning Fantasy - Marvellous on 2D Blu-ray, 29 April 2013
By 
Mr. Laurence Williams "laurence_p_williams" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Months ago I pre-ordered the 2D Blu-ray of this Ang Lee movie (who won the Best Director Oscar for his efforts) on the strength of a couple of laudatory reviews, despite not having read the book that it is based on nor knowing much about the story.

Having just watched it in HD for the first time I was very impressed and intend to watch it again many times (and have now ordered the book to see how it differs/expands on the film).

On 2D Blu-ray this film looks superb and I'm quite sure properly presents the notably accomplished cinematography, truly groundbreaking special-effects and sound to their best; this film is an astounding 'feast' for the eyes and ears.

Based on the aforementioned book of the same name, the plot of 'Life of Pi' (why it isn't actually 'THE Life of Pi' I'm not sure !) is quite straightforward - but the story itself includes so much more than what is outlined AND pictured on the disc box (so it is hardly a spoiler !) :

"A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor--a fearsome Bengal tiger."

For starters, the events in that synopsis only start some way into the film and then they do not take up the rest of the running time.....

What else occurs is just as relevant and very often equally as impressive (and occasionally disturbing....); and that starts right at the beginning with the opening credits, which include some wonderful animation touches to the text, complementing the gorgeous musical soundtrack and pictures we see. Then the story begins proper with an introduction and then what often contains delightful 'vignettes' of life in India (an improvement on 'Slumdog Millionaire'), before moving to the main theme where the 'cinematic experience' is elevated to even higher levels.

However, to say much more WOULD be a spoiler BUT about the story itself, I think it is pertinent to observe that whilst it initially has a claim from one character that it will "make you believe in God"', it is immediately qualified by Pi himself (the person mentioned in the synopsis) who states "you decide for yourself what you believe" and then ultimately the significance of what we then see and hear in the rest of the film is summarised by Pi again, with him stating "if it happened it happened, why does it have to mean anything ?". So, no opinions are forthcoming from me - just facts; you, like me, are left to make your own mind up.....

Aside from mentioning that I think that the 'story' is fantastic (in every sense of the word), emotional, rich and vivid the only other opinion I can offer is about the cinematic aspects, which are as already hinted superb. There may be a couple of minor blemishes, where the dialogue is clearly ADR and not in keeping with the surroundings (ie the voice of Pi sounds the same inside a room as it does for sometime after he is in the open air) and also where I was distracted by the screen aspect changing (anomalies due to 3D 'complications' in some scenes I believe) - but that is nitpicking really. The real accomplishment in 'Life of Pi' is with the CGI of various animals, most notably with (of course !) the Tiger, to supplement the real-life views of the same animals.

The technical wizardry achieved here is astounding and has to be seen to be believed - never before have I seen CGI where it is completely indistinguishable from reality. There were occasions where the tail of the Tiger didn't look quite right, but to be honest the rendering is so good I am probably sceptical about certain scenes where the Tiger was in fact real - it is that good ! The special-effects detail (the surroundings as well as animals) is so proficient that it ensures the entire story and film 'works', 100% - anything less and the 'Life of Pi' magic would be lost; all supplemented by a superb lead-acting role and excellent musical soundtrack.

*** My only reservation is with the viewing classification. 'Life of Pi' is rated 'PG', which considering that implies 'A PG film should not disturb a child aged around eight or older' I think is too 'low'. Aspects of the story and dialogue are in my opinion quite adult-orientated and many scenes are MORE than the 'Contains mild language and threat' guidance as stated on the disc box. How ever many delights there are in this film I really don't think it is for children.

On Blu-ray all these aspects are presented superbly with a flawless, bright and sharp image and sumptuous dts-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, no complaints from me. And for once the extras are fairly decent, with an enlightening production featurette running for over an hour (it's split into 4 sections) which only dips into the 'usual' sugary back-slapping/complimentary 'talking head' type, that we all too often are served up, in the final section. There is also a short (TOO short) feature on the Tiger CGI aspects, storyboards, a picture gallery but also unfortunately a dedicated sugary back-slapping/complimentary 'talking head' type featurette - best ignored and which adds nothing to the main featurette....

'Life of Pi' at it's most basic level is a story that "if it happened it happened, why does it have to mean anything ?" BUT is elevated to legendary status by being so novel and magnificently presented in this film. Comparatively speaking, the flaws are miniscule - leaving us (ie me !) with a truly wonderful and memorable cinematic experience which WILL provoke repeat-viewing as it also looks and sounds so good on Blu-ray.

Now having watched 'Life of Pi' I'm even more astounded that the lamentable 'Argo' (also reviewed by me on Amazon) won the Best Picture Oscar...

The UK disc is labelled as All-Region and the available 'languages' are far more copious than listed on the disc box :

Audio
Eng dts-HD MA 7.1
Eng Desc 5.1
Spanish DD 5.1
Castellano DTS 5.1
Portuguese DD 5.1
+ more but the description is in the native language which I cannot interpret !

Subtitles
English Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Castellano
Portuguese
again + more but the description is in the native language which I cannot interpret !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life of Pi - a really amazing story., 4 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Life of Pi [DVD] (DVD)
I thought this would be a great story from the first time I saw the advertising clips and I wasn't at all disappointed. The shipwreck and the journey provided incredible excitement, drama, very scary moments and sadness at times, but thrilling all the way through to the rescue. Really well filmed - should be in everyone's collection.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3D at its best, 14 July 2013
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Unbelievable 3D film that has to be seen. The storyline is quite unbelievable but the quality of the lead child actor's work is worth seeing without the excellent effects created by Ang Lee.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 2 July 2013
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This is definitely one of the most beautiful steel books on the market, and the movie itself is also very good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visual feast and fable in one., 15 Jun. 2013
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Annoyed I didnt see it at the cinema, had to buy this and pleased it met all expectations. A great Fable that provides a visual feast and a true test of the medium of 3D, as well as a touching story.

No doubt, not for everyone, but for me, an essential part of the 3D collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surreal family film, 11 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Life of Pi [DVD] (DVD)
I liked this film but I wouldn't watch it again.
It's long and the effects are very clever.
The story...... again clever and it leaves you with a choice at the end of the film. Do you go with your imagination or do you see things for what they are???
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Life of Pi [Blu-ray]
Life of Pi [Blu-ray] by Ang Lee (Blu-ray - 2013)
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